The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Monday, February 11, 2019

DHMXDC Surface charger: fails new PC, works old PC

I wanted to post this review on amazon.ca, but was not eligible[*], so I am posting here:

DHMXDC Magnetic US Plug Power Supply AC Adapter Cord for Microsoft Surface Pro 3/PRO 4 Intel Tablet (Pro 3 Adapter Without Usb)(Taboe Charger)Sold by: DHMXDCCDN$ 20.00
I forgot to bring an airplane-ready[**] laptop charger on a recent trip, so I purchased this from amazon.ca on the plane while travelling to Canada.

This charger did NOT work with the Microsoft Surface 2-in-1 tablet PC I was using on the trip. When plugged in (a) the charger connector lights up, as if working, but (b) PC system icon reports "plugged in, not charging".    This seems to be as reported by about half of the reviews.

I initiated a return request with amazon.ca the same day. The vendor responded, but had not authorized the return before I had to leave Canada.

On my return home, I found the the DHMXDC charger worked with an older Surface.  I will therefore keep it - too much hassle to get the vendor to complete the return authorization - but I will be reluctant to work with this vendor again. 


Note *: Since I live in the USA I normally use amazon.com, where I post reviews, rather than the Canadian site, amazon.ca which will not allow me to post a review unless I have purchased 50$ in the last 12 months.  Amazon.com will not allow me to post a review for a product I purchased on amazon.ca

Note **: by "airplane ready charger" I mean a charger that will work with the power outlets on many airlines.  The surface dock that I was travelling with drew too much current, and caused the air line power outlet to shut off.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

IT forced password changes => weaker password

Every time my company's IT forces me to change my password, my password becomes weaker.

At least, the password(s) that I actually have to enter by hand, manually.  

Frankly, I don't care about weakening the passwords for my company accounts.  After all, it's their IT department that is enforcing this obsolete policy.

But it is annoying that company IT also forces me to change my personal password on my personal machines that I use to log in to company email and VPN.   Those personal passwords start out really string, but get weaker every time IT forces me to change them.  So it's my personal security that is being messed up by company IT.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Treadmill (desk) needs speed ramps and intervals

I continue to love my LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 treadmill, since 2014.

At first I could only walk slowly, 1-1.4mph, while working.

Then, a year or so ago, I started being able to hit 2-2.5mph for some tasks, like email triage.

Recently I have started being able to run >= 4mph, typically while listening to "XXX Update Meetings", where I don't participate, and often don't need to take notes.

But... sometimes I need to take a note, and may need to slow down.  Not suddenly stop, but ramp down safely. 

(Stopping suddenly can be dangerous - I have twisted my knee several times when the emergency stop engaged.)

PROBLEM: the LifeSpan console changes speeds in clicks of 0.1mph.  Having to lean over and click 20 times to ramp down from 4.0 -> 3.9 -> 3.8 -> ... -> 2.1 -> 2.0 mph is inconvenient, and somewhat dangerous.

WISH: 2 or 3 speed buttons, with designated speeds.  And a smooth transition between them, not instantaneous.

EXTRA WISH: I sometimes do intervals on my treadmill desk, while listening to such meetings. 20 clicks to change speed is a pain.  After the 2 or 3 speed buttons, programmable intervals, would be nice.

DIY: yeah, I should do this in my copious spare time. There's a small community of folks who have made their own treadmill controllers using Arduino or Raspberry Pi or the like.


BTW, one big reason why I did not start running fast earlier was not my fitness level or even my sense of balance, but that I have had trouble adjusting the treadmill tension: if it runs smoothly at 0.4 mph it slips at 5mph, or it binds at 1mph when smooth at 5mph.

Google Blogger/Blogspot "Blog This!" plugin dead?

As of June 2018 the "Blog This!" plugin seems to have disappeared. Sob! My second most frequently used plugin. This may be my final straw for using Google Blogger / Blogspot. Google Blogger / Blogspot has been dying slowly for years.

Monday, May 21, 2018

I want to like Windows Controlled Folder Access, but ...

'via Blog this'

I want to like Windows Controlled Folder Access.  Essentially, restriction of access not just by user or group, but also by app.

But, of course, Microsoft made it so simplistic that gets in the way of my usage model.

For example:

  • Lack of Exclusion
    • There are protected folders.  This is good.   
    • You can add more protected folders.  This is also good.
    • But you can't EXCLUDE subfolder trees from protection.
    • This is bad..
    • My usage model:
      • I do a lot of my work in subfolders of Desktop.
      • I do a lot of my work using ad-hoc tools, like Perl and Cygwin
      • I would LIKE most of Desktop to be protected.
      • But I would like to allow all or most, at least a large number, of cygwin apps to have access to subfolder trees such as Desktop/Work-In-Progress
  • Apps are given all or nothing access
    • You can add apps to the permitted list. This is good.
    • But when you do so, the app is allowed to access all Cntrolled Folders. This is bad.
    • E.g. I would like EMACS to be able to access my working areas, like Desktop/Work-In-Progress.  
    • But I would like to disallow EMACS from accessing, say, system folders, or Music, or ...
    • Instead it's all or nothing. :-( 
  • Apps are individual
    • You can add apps to the permitted list. This is good.
    • But you have to add them one by one. This is bad.
    • E.g. I use cygwin.   I would like to add C:/Cygwin/bin/* to the permitted list.
      • But that is too much of a pain, so I just disable Controlled folders
Basically, app permissions are just like user permissions.  They need the same flexibility.

Controlled Folders does not.


This feels very much like Microsoft's initial, >10 years long approach to evolve network share permissions.

I hope that app permissions do not take so long.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

WISH: windows 10 dynamic lock - non-phone, non-paired

windows 10 dynamic lock fitbit - Bing:

'via Blog this'

  1. Lock your Windows 10 PC automatically when you step away from it.
    • Sounds great! :-)
  2. If you forget to lock your PC or tablet when you step away, Windows Hello can use a phone that's paired with your device to automatically lock it shortly after you're out of Bluetooth range. 
    • This sucks! :-(
What fraction of the population pair their phone with their PC?

  • I used to do device-PC pairing, back when I backed up my phone by synching to my PC.  And/or synched podcasts from net through PC to phone.
  • But now I mostly go direct from phone to cloud.  I don't Bluetooth pair phone to PC, not unless I am tethering a personal hotspot via BT.
  • In general, I try to avoid phone-to-PC paring, because it is a security hole.
Heck, what fraction of people have their phone in their pocket whenever they are at their PC?
  • OK, probably most
  • But not me.  
That's what I have a SmartWatch for.  Actually just a FitBit Versa, but good enough.

Dynamic Lock would be more useful to me if it detected the presence or absence of my FitBit.

But, again, I don't want to pair my FitBit with my PC.  I pair my FitBit with my phone.  I wear my FitBit even when my phone is far away, but even then there's an identifiabke BT signal.

NOTE: I don't want this to log IN>

Just to lock.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rule Order Matters [in Outlook] [I wish]

The Three Most Important Outlook Rules for Processing Mail - Scott Hanselman: "rule order matters"

'via Blog this'

Yeah, ruke order matters.

Unfortunately, Outlook does not reliably process rules in order.

Not if some are server and some are not server rules

And if your machine is not always connected to the server - e.g. if mobile, or at home but net is unreliable.


For many years, many of the most useful rules - eg rules that handled Internet, as opposed tgo MS Exchange, addresses were client-side rules.

I have not checked where MS draws the line nowadays, but I have been burnt badly by MS inconsistency in rule order.